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lancia

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2020, 09:39:07 am »
There's this thing about the Bible: one can find support for almost any view within its pages. For example, the Bible makes clear claims that can be put together in the form of arguments favoring the idea that all will be saved: nobody will suffer eternally in hell. I've posted some such arguments already in this forum. Here is another.

Premise 1: All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Premise 2: All will call on the name of the Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11)
Conclusion: All will be saved.


A major and--I would also suggest--a reasonable assumption in this argument is confessing that Jesus is Lord (from Philippians 2:10-11) is a sufficient condition of calling on the name of the Lord (from Romans 10:13). That is, in this argument, it is assumed that one cannot confess that Jesus is Lord without also calling on the name of the Lord.

Biblical references

“WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Romans 10:13)

“so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 11:38:39 am by lancia »

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2020, 09:42:02 am »
...someone please tell me what the point of torturing people for all eternity accomplishes. I mean the Catholic concept (though unbiblical) of purgatory made more sense because you'd do your stint in stir and ostensibly, if there was some sort of rehab program, the celestial parole board would let you go. Hell makes it like you have no hope, just endless torture. You can't even kill yourself. It's like some grisly Ground Hog day.

What if Hell isn't primarily a place God sends you, but a place where you send yourself because a sinful soul cannot live in the presence of God?
Perhaps all that stuff about fire and flames is only a metaphor, and Hell is a completely normal place except for one thing -- the presence of God is absent, so the people living in Hell will never experience the joy and satisfaction of being with their Creator. Under that understanding, God isn't actively "torturing" anyone.

You can see how you have to water down hell because the idea is nauseating.

Again, you have to scripturally prove:

That souls are immortal and can't die (even though the bible clearly says souls die).

Without that, you can't go there.

You're right that my idea is "watered down" from a Sunday School understanding of Hell, but there are many great Christian thinkers who agree with me. It's basically what CS Lewis argues in The Great Divorce.

What about Kurros' objection? "If souls (Nephesh) can be resurrected into eternal life in heaven, why can't souls also be resurrected into eternal suffering?"

Also, where does the Bible clearly say that souls die?

My personal view of what Scripture teaches is that, based on 1 Corinthians 15, there will be a final "resurrection" where everyone who has died will rise again; some to eternal judgment, some to eternal paradise in the New Heavens and New Earth (based on Revelation and some of Jesus' teachings in the Gospels). However, I do think that there is a place where souls are alive immediately after death, perhaps as a "holding place" until the resurrection, based on Jesus' words to the thief on the cross -- "today you will be with me in paradise."

I think the best arguments on your side (against the existence of an immortal soul) come from Science, not Scripture, based on all the problems that come with assuming Mind / Body duality.
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noncontingent

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2020, 10:50:59 am »
...someone please tell me what the point of torturing people for all eternity accomplishes. I mean the Catholic concept (though unbiblical) of purgatory made more sense because you'd do your stint in stir and ostensibly, if there was some sort of rehab program, the celestial parole board would let you go. Hell makes it like you have no hope, just endless torture. You can't even kill yourself. It's like some grisly Ground Hog day.

What if Hell isn't primarily a place God sends you, but a place where you send yourself because a sinful soul cannot live in the presence of God?
Perhaps all that stuff about fire and flames is only a metaphor, and Hell is a completely normal place except for one thing -- the presence of God is absent, so the people living in Hell will never experience the joy and satisfaction of being with their Creator. Under that understanding, God isn't actively "torturing" anyone.

You can see how you have to water down hell because the idea is nauseating.

Again, you have to scripturally prove:

That souls are immortal and can't die (even though the bible clearly says souls die).

Without that, you can't go there.

You're right that my idea is "watered down" from a Sunday School understanding of Hell, but there are many great Christian thinkers who agree with me. It's basically what CS Lewis argues in The Great Divorce.

What about Kurros' objection? "If souls (Nephesh) can be resurrected into eternal life in heaven, why can't souls also be resurrected into eternal suffering?"

Also, where does the Bible clearly say that souls die?

My personal view of what Scripture teaches is that, based on 1 Corinthians 15, there will be a final "resurrection" where everyone who has died will rise again; some to eternal judgment, some to eternal paradise in the New Heavens and New Earth (based on Revelation and some of Jesus' teachings in the Gospels). However, I do think that there is a place where souls are alive immediately after death, perhaps as a "holding place" until the resurrection, based on Jesus' words to the thief on the cross -- "today you will be with me in paradise."

I think the best arguments on your side (against the existence of an immortal soul) come from Science, not Scripture, based on all the problems that come with assuming Mind / Body duality.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine. Like the soul of the father, like the soul of the son they are Mine; the soul that sins, it shall die.




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lancia

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2020, 11:15:25 am »
Also, where does the Bible clearly say that souls die?

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are Mine. Like the soul of the father, like the soul of the son they are Mine; the soul that sins, it shall die.

But note that the key word for soul here is nefesh. That Hebrew word has many other meanings, common ones of which can be seen in other biblical versions (e.g., the NIV) of that verse.

"For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die."

As I said above, one can find support from the Bible for almost any view.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 11:28:00 am by lancia »

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wonderer

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2020, 11:37:41 am »
Good video.  I can relate to having been in a similar state a long time ago. 

The one thing I would particularly disagree with is at around 5:40, when he says that this fear is something he cannot get away from.   

Having a lot more life experience than he does, I can say he most likely will get to a point of not having such fear anymore.  It is simply unrealistic to expect consciously going over his reasoning to be able to immediately and totally uproot views that have been deeply programmed into his subconscious over years while he was a child.  It takes time/repetition to overwrite the effects of the abusive programming.


Fear isn't always a bad thing; fear is what keeps people from doing stupid things like running out into the middle of the street. The only bad fears are fears that are unfounded; and I'm not sure yet that belief in Christianity, Heaven, and He'll is unfounded.

If it is true, I'd be using repition to overwrite perfectly good programming in my system, which sounds like a bad idea... Kind of like self-imposed brainwashing.

Well sure, it is a quote from a work of fiction, like many quotes from the Bible.  You shouldn't take it too seriously.  It's about recognizing the fact that fear frequently is groundless, and there are practical conscious steps you can take to mitigate the effect of subconsciously arising fears.
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Der Chemiker

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2020, 01:00:09 pm »
My view, based on the things I have read in the Bible, is this:
1. The soul immortal and eternal life exists.
2. The eternal life for the people who belongs to God will be awesome, fantastic and wonderfull.
("Christ is everything that I live for. If I die, that will be even better for me." Philippians 1:23)
3. It's not 100% clear what happens with the people who don't belong to God, but there seems to be both: justice & punishment and 2nd chance.

God is justice, bur on the other hand he has amazing grace even with the people who committed huge sins in their lifes. A good example is this one:
"The other criminal, however, told him that he was wrong. He said, ‘Do you not respect God? You have received the same punishment as he has. Our punishment is right. We are getting what we deserve for our actions. But he has done nothing wrong’. Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me, when you come into your *kingdom’. Jesus said to him, ‘I promise that you will be with me in Paradise today’." Luke 23:40-43

I would categorize myself into the people who belong to God. Therefore I am not very afraid of hell and I think, the other christians here should not be that afraid of hell too.
And for the atheists and agnostics here, if you worry seriously about hell, I assume that you consider the option that Christianity could be true.
If you do so, I recommend you to look on the topic from a different perspective. Think not only about "If Christianity is true, will I receive something bad?" (suffering in hell), think also about the question: "Will I miss something wonderfull?" (eternal life in heaven and eternal joy)
"The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." Psalms 111:2

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Mammal

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2020, 01:12:15 pm »
If you do so, I recommend you to look on the topic from a different perspective. Think not only about "If Christianity is true, will I receive something bad?" (suffering in hell), think also about the question: "Will I miss something wonderfull?" (eternal life in heaven and eternal joy)
So many religions to choose from then..if a religion per se is really the key to nirvana..
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Der Chemiker

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2020, 02:05:08 pm »
My point is this: if someone (atheist or agnostic) is really afraid of hell, it seems for me like he/she is not 100% convinced in their own poisition.
Otherwise the person would not be afraid of hell.
If you are not 100% convinced because of emotional reasons (like beeing afraid of hell), you should also consider the amazing gift of eternal life in heaven when you are evaluating the risk and worth of atheism. The possibility that heaven and hell could exist, can not only be bad for you, on the other hand it can be great for you.

If you are not 100% convinced because of evidence, look for evidence and try to find out which worldview has the best evidence.

The argument "So many religions to choose from then" is garbage because it doesn't support atheism, look at my Mathematicak objection to religious pluralism
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ArtD

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2020, 05:21:46 pm »
ChristianInvestigator: Alright, so you're specifically saying that Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

That’s right. You got it.

ChristianInvestigator: I don't think the disagreements are all that immense once you look at them closely (excluding clearly non-Christian denominations, like Mormons).
And exclude Catholics who say “No salvation outside the Church” and exclude people who believe baptism by immersion is necessary and exclude . . .

Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

Is being a good Catholic necessary or not?
Is baptism by immersion necessary or not?

Believing that a good God exists, hell exists, but that God failed to tell us how to avoid hell seems to me to be a nonsense belief.
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noncontingent

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2020, 07:39:49 pm »
754 Times nephesh is used.

https://www.therain.org/appendixes/app13.html

In no place is the nephesh the exclusive purview of humans. It's simply a breather. Breathers stop breathing and die.

No immortal nephesh(soul) anywhere there.

No immortal soul, means no possibility of eternal torment.

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2020, 07:47:37 pm »
754 Times nephesh is used.

https://www.therain.org/appendixes/app13.html

In no place is the nephesh the exclusive purview of humans. It's simply a breather. Breathers stop breathing and die.

No immortal nephesh(soul) anywhere there.

No immortal soul, means no possibility of eternal torment.

But there is possibility of eternal life???
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2020, 07:51:46 pm »
ChristianInvestigator: Alright, so you're specifically saying that Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

That’s right. You got it.

ChristianInvestigator: I don't think the disagreements are all that immense once you look at them closely (excluding clearly non-Christian denominations, like Mormons).
And exclude Catholics who say “No salvation outside the Church” and exclude people who believe baptism by immersion is necessary and exclude . . .

Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

Is being a good Catholic necessary or not?
Is baptism by immersion necessary or not?

Believing that a good God exists, hell exists, but that God failed to tell us how to avoid hell seems to me to be a nonsense belief.

Are there seriously Christian denominations around today that believe baptism by Immersion is the only way to avoid hell? I think God "clearly tells" in scripture that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Most Catholics tend to believe that people can be saved outside the Catholic Church (or at least suffer through a few years of Purgatory first) and most non-Catholics believe that Catholics can be saved despite being Catholic.

There are a few strategies that clearly won't help you avoid hell -- such as not even trying.
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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noncontingent

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2020, 09:31:02 pm »
754 Times nephesh is used.

https://www.therain.org/appendixes/app13.html

In no place is the nephesh the exclusive purview of humans. It's simply a breather. Breathers stop breathing and die.

No immortal nephesh(soul) anywhere there.

No immortal soul, means no possibility of eternal torment.

But there is possibility of eternal life???

Yes, but that's a different thing. That's a gift, not a given.

Hear me out.

Everyone who has ever lived at any time, was a soul. They didn't "have a soul", the were souls.

As souls, or breathers, they died.

Job in his dire situation said "If a man dies, can he live again? All the days of my compulsory service I shall wait. You will call, and I shall answer." - Job 14:14

This was the hope. Now the Sadducees didn't accept anything but the Pentateuch, so they rejected the resurrection. The Pharisees accepted the idea of the resurrection, but they added elements to their beliefs from other sources, not just the traditionally accepted books. (see Mike Heiser). So when Jesus gives the illustration of Lazarus and the rich man, it says quite clearly that this is an illustration. Jesus is making a point, but not the point that the soul is immortal and something needs be done with it posthumously, but rather the despised of the pharisees were going to be favored, the tables would be turned and the despised would now be blessed, while they would experience the torments of rejection.

In any case justice requires that all of us be given the same opportunity that Adam had. A perfect body and a perfect mind and full knowledge of who the Creator is and what his will is. Even now none of us can say we have this. We might be sincere, but we could also be sincerely wrong. Also, none of us are perfect in body or mind.

This is what the general resurrection is about that we read in scripture.

The dead are resurrected to judgement and "come to life" as a process until these are complete from God's standpoint. This is what the 1000 year reign of Jesus is all about. Now whether that's symbolic as a number or literal I don't know, but I do know that no one is justly condemned to annihilation except if they (according to scripture) have blasphemed God's spirit (which none of us are in a position to judge anyone w/regard to, whether these be living of dead) Many arguments have been put forth on this w/regard to the various condemned groups and individuals in scripture. I don't know. Sufficient to say that as Revelation says "the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades (Hell) are thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire means "the second death" because from that there is no resurrection. How do individuals end up getting there? Well after these reach perfection, they all get the same challenge that Adam faced - will they listen to God, or Satan? If they deflect then, they have no one to blame but themselves, but the penalty is nothingness. It can't be hell - a place of fiery torment, it can't be that these have an immortal soul, because they don't, not yet (actually everlasting life an immortality are actually two different things)

There are also two resurrections spoken of in the book of Revelation, the first is essentially a replacement in the divine council (Mike Heiser talks about this) for the members who deflected. Now these actually "put on immortality", to quote Paul. The biblical term is actually athanasia (like "a", not "thanatos" death), so "deathless" is the state of those involved in the first resurrection. These have been fully tested from God's standpoint while they were alive on earth. Who these are, is unclear and lots of arguments might be made, but we're not the ones who make the selection at any rate. The bulk of humanity must be brought back to the "new earth" and these who are part of this "first resurrection" rule w/Jesus as co-rulers for the duration of this government-pro-tem. Once humanity has been brought back to an approved state and the final test has taken place, God's Kingdom has accomplished its purpose and the Kingdom is handed back to God and the relationship w/God is now unimpeded as the mediator, Jesus Christ has accomplished his role in God's purposes.

Then both heaven and earth are in unity and death is no more. What happens next? I don't know.

The resurrection is discussed in 1 Cor. 15.
Other scriptures Rev. 20-21

This off the top of my head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1rai6WoOJU
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Mammal

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2020, 03:00:09 am »
...you should also consider the amazing gift of eternal life in heaven when you are evaluating the risk and worth of atheism. The possibility that heaven and hell could exist, can not only be bad for you, on the other hand it can be great for you.

If you are not 100% convinced because of evidence, look for evidence and try to find out which worldview has the best evidence.

The argument "So many religions to choose from then" is garbage because it doesn't support atheism, look at my Mathematicak objection to religious pluralism
Well, for the sake of the argument, let's do a trial run:

If there is no heaven, or anything after life, then we won't know about it.

If there is something like a heaven, or nirvana, and we assume that we would get there anyway, notwithstanding our belief, then it obviously does not matter much what we believe beforehand. The odds are all the same. For example, there are those who think that the experience of "heaven" could be the result of a chemical release in your brain when you die, the same chemical reaction (just much more profound) that makes you dream. So as you are dying, your brain state gets frozen (your qualia frozen at a space-time moment) in an illusion subject to its programming (almost like a calming defense mechanism). So every kind of person/believer will end up in his/her preconceived heaven state illusion. Even if it is just a generic universal reality of some sort of peaceful and lasting post-life experience (like a nirvana) where we kind of drift away in a pure "conscious", or information state, then the same applies. We'll be "happy" ever after.

I suppose the same would apply if universalism turns out to be true, although there would be an additional programming and qualification phase in order for those who share heaven to be on the same page, so to say. So again, it would not matter what you have believed while your were alive. Heaven might be something completely different to any of the religious concepts, for that matter.

If the agnostic thinks that one has to at least be a theist to qualify for heaven, then he would look at it as a 50:50 "gamble" (between theism and atheism) based on the chances of making heaven.

If the agnostic thinks that theism alone might not be enough, that one has to at least select one of the monotheistic religions to improve that chance even further, then that initial 50% chance now becomes a third of that, not so? And so forth...

I think you were saying that in the last-mentioned case, the chances of making it to heaven should then be weighed as 25% per religious worldview (where atheism effectively represents a choice similar than lets say Islam, or Christianity). Mmm.. I guess it has to do with the perception of the individual agnostic as to where and when he thinks he starts to qualify, that is how it seems to me. It also seems apparent to me that the plurality argument would hold depending on the criteria of the person who ponders such dilemma.

Having said all of that, in reality the choice of religion would most probably come down to exposure. The agnostic would likely only seriously consider one religion that he is familiar with, or maybe a short list of denominations of one such religion, or maybe that vs something like Buddhism or such.
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kurros

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Re: Agnostics: Are you afraid of hell?
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2020, 04:06:10 am »
ChristianInvestigator: Alright, so you're specifically saying that Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

That’s right. You got it.

ChristianInvestigator: I don't think the disagreements are all that immense once you look at them closely (excluding clearly non-Christian denominations, like Mormons).
And exclude Catholics who say “No salvation outside the Church” and exclude people who believe baptism by immersion is necessary and exclude . . .

Christian denominations can't agree on what actions and beliefs must be done to avoid hell.

Is being a good Catholic necessary or not?
Is baptism by immersion necessary or not?

Believing that a good God exists, hell exists, but that God failed to tell us how to avoid hell seems to me to be a nonsense belief.

Are there seriously Christian denominations around today that believe baptism by Immersion is the only way to avoid hell? I think God "clearly tells" in scripture that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Most Catholics tend to believe that people can be saved outside the Catholic Church (or at least suffer through a few years of Purgatory first) and most non-Catholics believe that Catholics can be saved despite being Catholic.

There are a few strategies that clearly won't help you avoid hell -- such as not even trying.

Only from a Christian perspective. But agnostics need to consider the broader perspectives. For example perhaps God appreciates honest attempts to live a generically "good life" over adherence to the doctrinal directives of any Earthly religion. Maybe the bible has absolutely zero accurate advice regarding God and should be completely ignored. Agnostics have to consider these things.